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Nikki Kern Talks About The Renovations At 222 South Riverside

If you’re attending Bisnow’s sixth annual State of Office event, June 21 at 222 South Riverside Plaza, you’ll notice there’s some construction in progress. We spoke with one of our panelists, JLL EVP Nikki Kern and a leasing agent at 222 with her partner Kim Doyle, about the $40M in renovations the firm is undertaking.

JLL EVP Nikki Kern, shown in the tenant lounge inside 222 South Riverside Plaza

Nikki says the renovations are bringing the common areas of the 40-story, 1M SF office building from Class-B to Class-A. This will make the building more competitive in seeking new tenants.

Nikki says the work is transforming every common area at 222 South Riverside into a brand-new product. The lobby features new ceiling, walls and flooring, new main entrance elements such as turnstiles and a security desk, upgraded elevators with destination dispatch systems and new finishes inside the cabs, and rehabbed common corridors and restrooms on all multi-tenant floors.

Inside the lounge at 222 South Riverside Plaza

JLL had a 5k SF tenant lounge built in the back of the lobby, in an area that was formerly ground-level retail. Nikki says the space was not a desirable location for a retailer, so it made more sense to turn it into a lounge.

The tenant lounge inside 222  South Riverside Plaza will have a golf simulator, which EVP Nikki Kern says is a first.

But that’s not all. The lounge has a full-time concierge, game room, fireplace, giant-screen TVs, a bar and, in what Nikki believes is a first in Chicago’s amenities arms race, a state-of-the-art golf simulator in a sound-attenuated room.

Its fresh façade, including a new paint job for the outside of the building, and the upgraded amenities will make 222 South Riverside stand out in the West Loop, allowing ownership to better capitalize on its location. The building sits above Union Station and is a block from Ogilvie Transportation Center.

A rendering of JLL's renovations to the plaza at 222 South Riverside Plaza

The last remaining piece of the puzzle is a full renovation of 222 South Riverside’s outdoor plaza, which is being completed concurrently with the city’s work on Adams Street. Nikki says this was a calculated move to minimize the time of construction. The plaza is expected to deliver next spring. To learn more, please attend Bisnow’s Sixth Annual State of Office event, 7am Tuesday, June 21, at 222 South Riverside Plaza. Register here.